Sotheby's has formally revealed that it will welcome cryptocurrency in an upcoming auction for Banksy's "Love is in the Air" artwork. On Tuesday, the company's big news was that it would now support Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETC) as payment options.
This is the first time a major auction house has accepted cryptocurrencies, like Bitcoin and Ether, as payment for a physical piece of artwork. A collaboration with Coinbase, which went public in April, allowed the company to accept cryptocurrency as a means of payment and enter the world of digital interests. Coinbase is one of the world's largest cryptocurrency trading sites.
Sotheby's also launched "The Fungible Collection" in April, which is its first NFT (non-fungible token) trade in partnership with the digital artist "Pak." The collaboration was a very lucrative one, bringing in a total of $16.8 million.
Sotheby's chief technology officer, Stefan Pepe, explains the shift in payment options for the auction in a tweet. "With the growing adoption of digital art and NFTs, along with our increased focus on digital innovation, we've seen an increasing appetite among collectors for more seamless payment options when doing business with Sotheby's."
Banksy's famous "Love is in the Air" artwork was made in 2005. The piece has become one of the most well-known works by the faceless street artist. Now, the artist's "Love is in the Air" artwork is expected to fetch between $3 million and $5 million at Sotheby's auction for contemporary art on May 12th in the evening in New York.
For more in art news and trends, Art Basel Hong Kong Announces Over 100 Galleries For The 2021 Lineup.